JoAnn Arlene Willgohs, age 69, of Brookings, passed away on Friday, Nov. 19, 2021, at Dougherty Hospice House in Sioux Falls. A time of visitation will be from 4-7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2021, at Eidsness Funeral Home with a meal and sharing of memories at 7 p.m. Masks are strongly encouraged.
JoAnn was born in Canby, MN, on Aug. 29, 1952, to Hugo and Marie (Wollum) Willgohs. She grew up on the family farm with her three sisters and six brothers.
She was married to Clifford Mogard, and together they had two children, Lori and Michael.
JoAnn received her undergraduate degree at Southwest State University in Marshall and her master’s degree from South Dakota State University. She utilized her degrees to teach microbiology labs at SDSU.
On June 22, 1996, she married Alan Holmes, the love of her life. Together, they spent time maintaining and conserving “the land” they purchased near Lake Poinsett, SD. They were married for seven years before Al passed away, which broke her heart.
After retiring from teaching in 2009, she was immediately hired to care for her granddaughter, Maisie. She loved that job and was happy to continue as care giver to grandsons Henry and Jack as well. She was a very hands-on grandma, still playing driveway basketball with her children and grandchildren this fall.
Also in her retirement, she enjoyed spending time taking care of all of her properties, getting lots of exercise and walking excessively, singing with the church choir, and volunteering with the hospice and STARS programs in Brookings.
She had a special affinity to dancing and spent multiple nights a week dancing throughout eastern South Dakota. She loved dancing so much that she helped coordinate the dances held in Brookings and helped chauffeur other dancers to out of town dances.
She was incredibly independent, had a wonderful sense of humor (even if it wasn’t always kid-appropriate), had a bit of a stubborn side, cussed like a sailor, always rooted for the underdog even to her home team’s detriment, always reached out to others in times of emotional need, and was unbelievably hard-working.
JoAnn died peacefully on Nov. 19, 2021, as a result of a ruptured brain AVM, surrounded by her children.
Survivors who will miss her dearly include: her children - Lori Mogard and Michael (Kate) Mogard of Brookings, SD, John (Christine) Holmes of Eugene, OR, and Ted Holmes of Minneapolis, MN; her grandchildren - Maisie, Henry, Jack, Gunnar, Nathan, Joren, Carson, and Sophia; her siblings – Ralph, Gene (Sharon), Martin (Mary), Keith (Lisa), Tim (Linda), Dan (Sherri) Willgohs, Janet Morell, Linda (Terry) Thomas, and Susan (John) Johnson; her aunts – Arlene Briggs, Bobbie Willgohs, and Marion Willgohs; many cousins, nieces, nephew, dear friends, and her grandpup Rajah.
JoAnn was preceded in death by her parents – Hugo and Marie, two siblings – Alan and Lori, and her husband – Alan Holmes.
She was an amazing mother and grandmother, working tirelessly to provide necessities, positive character traits, and opportunities for those she loved.